I read the first few pages walking home from the library. An uncommon, welcome, summer rain followed me as I read. It’s a beautiful book. If you’re not ready to dive in Tilda Swinton will read you the first chapter. If that doesn’t excite you then we probably won’t see eye-to-eye on most things.
Melville’s prose has the power to overwhelm you. He stretches it to its complete limit and then a little farther. It’s biblical and thumping — rhythmic and prophetic. I’d read that McCarthy was influenced by Melville and it’s clear in Blood Meridian. The color and breath of the words, the impossible characterizations. Yes, I think overwhelming is the right word.
I fell in love with Queequeg as I was falling in love with my fiancée. She suggested it, took me to see an opera based on it. Her and the Pequod are inseparable — knotted together in my memories. Often, when I feel that “drizzly November in my soul” I think back to the beauty of that book and the magic circumstances that brought me to it. Moby Dick will always be a wonderful place for me to visit.